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Author Topic: Beachcomber's Tales from the day  (Read 144504 times)

Online beachcomber

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #75 on: Dec 05, 2010, 07:06:10 »
yes,

Bells were the emergency services [ fire, police. ambulance ] means of warning approach, until the mid 60's when sirens started to appear.

Initially it caused a lot of concern as WW2 was still imbedded on most folks' minds !

These bells were very easilly removeable [ 1 bolt ] and were the prized collectible of any self respecting hooligan.

That reminds me, Crispy Daimler Dart story next week - Here's one we made earlier [ bottom left on grill ]  ..........................


"if at first you don't succeed, you've already been a failure once"

" we're not going back to the sixties - we never left "

"yep, nostalgia ain't what it used to be"

"I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure"

Online beachcomber

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #76 on: Dec 05, 2010, 13:35:18 »
Well here it is - the "Crispy Daimler Dart" story - hope it lives up to expectations.

It'll be the last one for a while, although I have drafted out "Dangerous Roy and the Manx Engine" as it had me in fits just thinking about it!

Enjoy or otherwise -

Beachcomber’s Tales from the Day – “The Crispy Daimler Dart”.
Here’s the third of the tales and follows on chronologically from the previous “Vanishing Motorcyclist” story.

The Lay-Bye racing had become so popular especially in our area, it started attracting the attention of the “Z Car” boys in blue. The term “Z Car” came about from the Police use of the new Mk3 Ford Zodiac, which also spawned a popular T.V. Cop show of the same name - “Z Cars”. The Z cars were introduced to try to catch the London Villians, who took to driving Mk2 Jaguars as getaway cars. They were also the only Police cars of the day capable of getting anywhere near most of the faster motorcycles. This was a time before blanket speed limits, where an unrestricted zone meant exactly that – if you could do 120mph, 130mph, 140mph – no foul.

The stretch of Bye-Pass where the Lay-Byes were situated was unrestricted. However, the authorities very sneakily put in a 60 mph limit at the end of the “race” stretch - between Gosnay’s and the next roundabout down. Beyond that was a 3 mile stretch of unrestricted dual carriageway before the “Gallows Corner” roundabout. This was a huge island with 5 roads coming off it. One of the roads was the popular route to the south coast town of Southend – the weekend holiday haunt of Eastenders!  When the Z cars were introduced, they used to sit in Gosnay’s yard and wait for some unsuspecting lads who had just been blasting down the unrestricted road and roaring off to get to the big blast up to Gallows corner. Now then what you DTT boys have to realise is that contrary to popular myth – not many of the current [ 1950’s / 60’s ] Brit bikes would do a genuine ton, so most of the speeders were easy meat for the 100mph Zodiacs. This was before [ !! ] reliable 2 way radios, so it wasn’t a case of calling ahead or reporting the number to a central dispatch for owner recognition. So basically, if you could outrun the rozzers – you got off.

So why the Daimler Dart? Well “our” lay-bye attracted some very fast bikes – it was no good even issuing a challenge for top dog unless you had a genuine 120mph bike. The Darts had a top speed of around 125mph – so theoretically being a match for even the fastest of us. We soon got to know the Police driver crew – and vice versa and before long they fell into a little game. The Darts were soft tops and in the Summer months the cops would pose around with the top down.

They’d wait for someone to come howling round the island at Gosnay’s and then they’d take off after them. They’d draw alongside the offender and shout across “ We’re only in third gear, if you can get away from us you get off”. Inevitably most bikes would be nabbed before they got to the next roundabout [ still  60mph limit ].

Anyway the story – matey with the Vincent/Norton lifted the crown from me and my Connie, and yes that Vinnie was mighty quick with Picador cams and an Agaard [?] 5 speed gearbox. The cops knew he was the new “top dog” and wanted to set an example of the guy – and yes his name was Vincent!

So, Vincent hurtles past plod in their Dart and gives them 2 fingers as he passes. Now he knew the game about “we’re only in third gear”…..etc. so he deliberately let them catch up with him. “We’re only in third gear”….etc. So Vincent shouts back, “OK, let me change UP to third and see what you’ve got”. With that the Vincent-Norton is off and gone.

The boys in the Dart took the real hump with that, and although they’d normally let anyone go who genuinely pulled away from them – they had a point to prove. Eventually Vincent realised he would run out of petrol if he didn’t stop, so decided to pull over. The Dart eventually screeched to a halt by the Vincent-Norton, closely followed by those of us who could just about keep up. By the time the cops pulled in, Vincent had rolled himself a fag and was having a quiet smoke. This infuriated the Dart boys even more – especially as by now they had an audience. They realised they couldn’t book Vincent as we all knew the score and he had not only outrun them – he’d blitzed them.

So they decided to give his bike the third degree to try to find some roadworthy violation – which they didn’t.

Now then, just in case you’re not aware – Darts were made from fibreglass and in those days it was pretty evil stuff giving off flammable fumes long after the bodies were supposedly “cured”.

So while the cops are busy crawling all over the bike, Vincent having finished his fag, casually flipped it away. Now was it accident or by design ????? Said fag end finds it’s way into the Dart cockpit and 15 minutes later there’s an almighty whoosh of almost spontaneous combustion!! As the fire was inside the cockpit, the cops couldn’t reach in to get at the fire extinguishers. Yea – 30 minutes later - “Crispy Daimler Dart” with only some charred fibreglass and a chassis left !  Next one – “Dangerous Roy and the Manx Norton Engine”

In the pic with the Copper and the bike - the Zodiac is on the right behind him, and on the left is the Ford Anglia - complete with 1098cc side valve engine with 70 mph flat out !




« Last Edit: Dec 05, 2010, 13:50:05 by beachcomber »
"if at first you don't succeed, you've already been a failure once"

" we're not going back to the sixties - we never left "

"yep, nostalgia ain't what it used to be"

"I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure"

Offline phrige

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #77 on: Dec 05, 2010, 16:19:00 »
so awsome. love these stories..

SO did Vincent get in trouble for blazing the cop car?!
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Online beachcomber

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #78 on: Dec 05, 2010, 16:40:15 »
Hell no - there were 20 odd "independent and unbiased" witnesses to say it was nothing to do with him !!!!
"if at first you don't succeed, you've already been a failure once"

" we're not going back to the sixties - we never left "

"yep, nostalgia ain't what it used to be"

"I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure"

Offline Garage Rat

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #79 on: Dec 05, 2010, 17:07:59 »
If we tried that stuff today, we would be locked up for who knows how long saying good bye to our rides... Even worse for you Ontario guys!
STFU and Ride!

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Offline Hoofhearted

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #80 on: Dec 05, 2010, 18:46:06 »
If we tried that stuff today, we would be locked up for who knows how long saying good bye to our rides... Even worse for you Ontario guys!

If you want to "try stuff" and get away wih it go to the Island for TT week.  The cops there allow you to get away with shit that would have you locked up and the key thrown away anywhere else.  My wife and I were over at the TT in '74.  Had to be '74.  I was usig the Manx for transport that year.  It was all I had that was roadworthy at the time.

We were strolling along the prom in Douglas in the evening when we heard a bit of a commotion a ways in front of us.  We stopped to have a look and it turned out to be some guy, half shitfaced and butt naked riding a 750 Suzuki kettle.  He did have boots on.  Whenever he heard a gal shout he would stand up and shake his naughty bits at her.  A good laugh overall.

As he got to the end of the prom there was two cops waiting and he was duly arrested.  You have to bear in mind that the Island has a helmet law.  He appeared in court the next day and the judge amazed everyone by fining him 40 pounds (Stg.) for not wearing a helmet!!


God I love the Island!!
El Mirage record 500 APS/PG 129.817
El Mirage record 500 SC/PG   122.240
El Mirage record 500 SC/PF    120.157
Bonneville record 500 SC/PG  119.667
Bonneville record 500 SC/PF   117.186
Bonneville record 500 SC/PBG  111.494
Bonneville record 500 SC/PBF   112. 600
Bonneville record 650 SC/PF   128.703
El Mirage  record  650 SC/PG   130.224

Offline bikeboy

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #81 on: Dec 05, 2010, 20:56:56 »
... for not wearing a helmet!!

sounds like that was all he *was* wearing  ;D ;D

Lovin' this thread boys.

ian

Offline Rocan

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #82 on: Dec 06, 2010, 00:11:36 »
holy damn! two great stories back to back!


once upon a time, life was better. bets were settled in public rather then in a courtroom. once upon a time, you could be knocked out by someone only to have them lift you to your feet a minute later.

wish i lived, once upon a time. :)
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Online beachcomber

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #83 on: Dec 06, 2010, 06:23:11 »
Yea, - we can truly say -"Those WERE the days" eh Hoof? 

When I was a kid [ up to 14 - 15 ], you respected the law - not for the laws per se, but you had a real and healthy respect for authority and especially your elders.

When I was a kid if I was caught scrumping apples or some very minor delinquency - a copper would literally give you a quick clip round the ear'ole and tell you to bugger off and not do it again. No point complaining at home to Mom or Dad about it - they'd give you another one !!!!!!

Same with teachers and other folk in charge of kids - NOW, if they raise their voices to the kids there'd be a writ flying around saying their "human rights" had been violated.

Hoof's IOM tale reminds me of a guy we had in our crew whose party piece was standing up on his bike while riding along at 30-40mph. Yea I know - every other stunters first steps these days - but unusual in the 60's.

One day - simply for a bet [ he was stone cold sober ] he got his kit off [ again all except helmet -on head - and boots ] and rode past the Mocha Coffee bar [ in Hornchurch ] which was a haunt for the Mods. The village Bobby on his Vespa scooter spotted him and took chase, but we all got in front of him and surrounded matey and then roared off through the village to safety, whilst plod tried to keep up with his 55mph scooter !

I've nearly finished Roy's story, but every time I come back to it I end up pissing myself with laughter - and that incident was 45 years ago.

Just think what stories YOU guys might have in 45 years' time????
"if at first you don't succeed, you've already been a failure once"

" we're not going back to the sixties - we never left "

"yep, nostalgia ain't what it used to be"

"I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure"

Offline Hoofhearted

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #84 on: Dec 06, 2010, 22:02:24 »
True we didn't have a great respect for the written law but we did have a healthy respect for the officers of the law.  Doing something stupid meant a whack up the side of the head and getting sent on your way.  If (and thats a big if) you told your parents you were likely to get another whack up the side of the head.   But the written law was definitely not to be taken too seriously.

A short story that has nothing to do with motorcycles.  I was sent to catholic schools with nuns that had some pretty vicious streaks in them.  Getting clattered was (for me at any rate) and lack of sympathy from parents was also the norm.  One thing it did do was prepare you for the real world.  You screw up.  Be prepared for the consequences.

I was an altar boy when the mass was in latin.  I got stuck with serving a concelebrated mass.  i.e. two plus hours of a valuable Sunday down the drain.  I was totally pissed off.  One of the responses I was to sing was "O rapro nobis".   For shits and giggles I sang out "O wipe my nose miss".   Sister Rose Marie, my 8th grade teacher was over in the penguin pit ( a small room to the right of the altar).  I glanced over at her and she had eyes the size of saucers!!


As soon as mass was over she was waiting for me.  I was frog marched over to the school and she literally beat shit out of me.  I got home with one eye closed and a bloody nose!!  My Dad was reading the Sunday paper and he glanced up and asked what happened.  I told him and his reply was  " Maybe the next time you won't be so damn stupid".  Mom's reply was I made a mess of the shirt and dried in blood doesn't wash out.

Today that incident would be a major lawsuit.  But back then it was nothing more than a life lesson.
El Mirage record 500 APS/PG 129.817
El Mirage record 500 SC/PG   122.240
El Mirage record 500 SC/PF    120.157
Bonneville record 500 SC/PG  119.667
Bonneville record 500 SC/PF   117.186
Bonneville record 500 SC/PBG  111.494
Bonneville record 500 SC/PBF   112. 600
Bonneville record 650 SC/PF   128.703
El Mirage  record  650 SC/PG   130.224

Offline Hot Rod Troy

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #85 on: Dec 08, 2010, 12:01:03 »
True we didn't have a great respect for the written law but we did have a healthy respect for the officers of the law.  Doing something stupid meant a whack up the side of the head and getting sent on your way.  If (and thats a big if) you told your parents you were likely to get another whack up the side of the head.   But the written law was definitely not to be taken too seriously.

A short story that has nothing to do with motorcycles.  I was sent to catholic schools with nuns that had some pretty vicious streaks in them.  Getting clattered was (for me at any rate) and lack of sympathy from parents was also the norm.  One thing it did do was prepare you for the real world.  You screw up.  Be prepared for the consequences.

I was an altar boy when the mass was in latin.  I got stuck with serving a concelebrated mass.  i.e. two plus hours of a valuable Sunday down the drain.  I was totally pissed off.  One of the responses I was to sing was "O rapro nobis".   For shits and giggles I sang out "O wipe my nose miss".   Sister Rose Marie, my 8th grade teacher was over in the penguin pit ( a small room to the right of the altar).  I glanced over at her and she had eyes the size of saucers!!


As soon as mass was over she was waiting for me.  I was frog marched over to the school and she literally beat shit out of me.  I got home with one eye closed and a bloody nose!!  My Dad was reading the Sunday paper and he glanced up and asked what happened.  I told him and his reply was  " Maybe the next time you won't be so damn stupid".  Mom's reply was I made a mess of the shirt and dried in blood doesn't wash out.

Today that incident would be a major lawsuit.  But back then it was nothing more than a life lesson.

Sounds about right!
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Online beachcomber

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #86 on: Dec 09, 2010, 06:11:08 »
Hey guys,

whilst sitting in an nostalgia and Brandy fueled haze last night in front of ye olde roaring log fire, another tale from the day swam into view. It is more Hot Rodder than Bike related - but bikes were involved.

So was a temporarily absent wife [ somebody else-not mine ], a country bungalow [ single storey quaint old dwelling ]. and a mechanical digger...................... is that allowed ??????????
"if at first you don't succeed, you've already been a failure once"

" we're not going back to the sixties - we never left "

"yep, nostalgia ain't what it used to be"

"I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure"

Online beachcomber

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #87 on: Dec 09, 2010, 08:27:52 »
This REALLY is the last one this side of Christmas as I have to whizz off to Saxony for a while 8)

Beachcomber’s Tales from the Day.

“Dangerous Roy and the Manx Norton Engine”.


We met Roy briefly in tale of the Missing Motorcyclist – here’s a little backgrounder on Roy ………………

Roy was 5 years or so younger than most of the lads in our crew, and at heart was a budding Mod. However, that was virtually impossible for him as all the surrounding bikers [ around his neighbourhood ] were Rockers [ generic ]. So he had a bit of a split loyalty – when he could get out on his own, he’d put on his Italian suit and Winkle pickers and then off to the local Palais with his Mod friends.

When it came time for him to get transport he was torn between a Vespa – and “losing” all his local pals, or a bike – which he really didn’t want! His Dad reluctantly bought him a Royal Enfield Crusader [ 250cc ] – and off wobbled Roy to try to fit in with the rest of us.

The second day on the bike he was off to work in London’s East End and even in those days rush hour traffic into and out of London’s arterial roads was hectic. Roy had yet to learn the art of weaving in and out of traffic and an accident of some sort was inevitable. Roy had to dress in a suit for his day job [ insurance clerk ] and true to his Mod roots, he’d wear his finest day time Italian suit complete with Winkle Pickers! Now the Mod style of riding was to hang the feet off the footboards of the scooter as far as possible at 45 degrees, so others could see your footwear. As Roy didn’t know which camp he really belonged to, he rode his bike in a similar fashion. You can see it coming – so Roy’s wriggling in and out of the traffic, until his foot comes into contact with a central pedestrian refuge kerb. These “refuges” were oval islands [ 6 foot x 3 foot ] in the middle of the busy City roads to allow pedestrians to bolt half way across the road, catch their breath and risk life and limb for the rest of the crossing to the other side. So, Roy’s foot came off second best and the collision spilled him down the road [ 10-15 mph ]. When he came to a rest he realised that the complete toe from his handmade Winkle Pickers had been torn off ! Not so bothered about the damage to his bike – or the broken toe!

So that sets the scene for Roy – accident prone as he was.

Anyway – the Manx ………………….

A year later and Roy was really no better a rider, and his Father was trying very hard to persuade him to get a car, even offering to pitch in some cash. So they had a deal – the next accident would be the last, after the inevitable, his Father would insist on him getting a car.

At the time I was having real problems with my 500cc International Norton [ road going Manx ], I suffered a spate of clipped intake valves [ did that affect you Hoof ? ] – and these valves were two weeks wages at the time and the exhaust valves were sodium filled- should one of them get damaged. Actually therein lies a “Mini Tale” –
the “2 International Engines, half a Manx Engine and the Isetta Bubble Car”

Anyway – a pal who lived about 2 miles away from me had a genuine 500 Manx engine for sale, and due to some various double dealing he owed me big time and I got the engine for a song. When the time came to collect ……….ahhh, none of us had a car or van. So I had a brilliant [ oh dear ] plan – get Roy to take me round there and I would sit pillion holding the engine between us! Now I should point out that Roy was only 5’ 4” and was around 100lbs - I was a lot more.

My pal was astounded when we turned up and said we’d take the engine with us on the bike – but we had no choice as his car was off the road at the time.

The road back took us past the notorious “Wantz Bends”, a series of tight double “S” bends. Under normal circumstances these bends were for the brave to take at speed ………..

After a couple of wobbling false starts we eventually got under way, and as long as we remained pretty upright – all was fine.

Then came the Wantz bends ……………….. eager to impress, Roy hurtled into the bends completely oblivious to the additional weight – AND the fact that I had no way of hanging on. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion after that, after the bike reached about 30 degrees I realised that we had reached the point of no return and started looking for somewhere safe to put my valued Manx engine. Yep, Roy was a nice soft place to cushion the impact for the Manx…so there’s Roy sliding down the road with me sliding alongside – holding the Manx engine firmly on his back. We eventually came to a stop, with much moaning and groaning coming from Roy – naturally, I went to check the condition of the engine – phew, no damage, so I carefully lifted it off Roy and put it to one side.
 
Then I turned my attentions to Roy who really didn’t look too good and in fact passed out in pain. A passing motorist stopped and said he would call an ambulance [ no cell phones then! ], but didn’t want to move Roy in case anything was broken. I persuaded the guy to drop me [ and the Manx engine! ] at my house which was only a half mile away where I could use the phone to call the Ambulance.

I got on my spare bike [ 500cc BSA B33 – waiting to become a Tribsa ]  and headed back to the scene. When I arrived the Police and his Father were there – but no Roy. The ambulance had already been and carted him off to hospital where he was diagnosed with broken ribs and a punctured lung! You’ll be glad to know that the Manx engine was fine though.

Roy’s Dad was absolutely furious [ he didn’t know about the Manx engine ! ] that Roy had this time had a fairly serious accident – and gave me the Crusader on the spot, saying Roy would never ride a bike again.

I went to the hospital [ after we got the Crusader home ! ] to check on Roy, who had been very lucky and went on to make a full recovery – he even laughed about the incident years later when we met up.

A week later Roy came out of hospital – the Manx was installed in my chassis, and there was a shiny Ford Mk2 Convertible Consul waiting for Roy.

He was far less prone to accidents carwise, but never got on a bike again! 

That’s it for this side of Christmas, as I have to make a flying visit to my place in Saxony and won’t have time to finish any of the other tales.

As we’re into the busy arterial roads of London – maybe the “Open Air Reliant Robin Van” should be next, as the tale took place on those same busy London streets..
"if at first you don't succeed, you've already been a failure once"

" we're not going back to the sixties - we never left "

"yep, nostalgia ain't what it used to be"

"I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure"

Offline Hoofhearted

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #88 on: Dec 09, 2010, 13:23:53 »
Enjoyed that BC.   I had an ancient Inter some time before the Manx.   It was the Norton standard of 79 x 100.   Being young and dumb (as opposed to old and dumb) it was more important to "race" it everywhere than to learn about it.  I was hammering it home along the Nth. Strand Rd. in Dublin.  It was a little after midnight so it was head down, ass up when there was a God awful bang and then the dreadful silence.   The intake valve had lterally dropped in.  When I got it home and stripped it I found the head was cracked, the valve went through the piston, hit the rod and bent the rod.  The impact of a valve also cracked the crankcase.   But I never had a problem with the Manx.
El Mirage record 500 APS/PG 129.817
El Mirage record 500 SC/PG   122.240
El Mirage record 500 SC/PF    120.157
Bonneville record 500 SC/PG  119.667
Bonneville record 500 SC/PF   117.186
Bonneville record 500 SC/PBG  111.494
Bonneville record 500 SC/PBF   112. 600
Bonneville record 650 SC/PF   128.703
El Mirage  record  650 SC/PG   130.224

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #89 on: Dec 09, 2010, 13:39:42 »
Hoof, strange that it was ONLY the Inters I had problems with, I must have clipped 3 lots of inlets before I swapped to the Manx. And yes - NEVER a problem with it.

Never had the total destruction you suffered, and in all cases the piston just needed a "bit of massage" to get it fit again.
"if at first you don't succeed, you've already been a failure once"

" we're not going back to the sixties - we never left "

"yep, nostalgia ain't what it used to be"

"I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure"